Thursday, July 13, 2017

Is Coconut Oil Healthy?

This subject perfectly illustrates the deep chasm between nutrition research and the general public’s views of nutrition. They are very often not aligned. I’m not sure when or how it started, but a few years back, the idea that coconut oil was health promoting began to build momentum.

The answer is no, coconut oil is not the best oil to use. It is not even close to being the best oil to use. In fact, it is probably the one you most want to avoid using.

Coconut oil is extremely high in saturated fat. Almost 90% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. For comparisons sake, butter contains 64% saturated fat and beef contains 40% saturated fat. 

The saturated fat in coconut oil raises LDL cholesterol, which increases risk of heart disease and stroke. In fact, the American Heart Association recently released a report advising against use of coconut oil, citing a review of 7 randomized trials showing that coconut oil increased LDL cholesterol in all 7 studies!

Oils with high amounts of mono and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil, have the exact opposite effect. They lower LDL cholesterol and have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. These are the oils you should be using.

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